Martyrs Mirror: A Social History is a significant entry in religious scholarship that deepens our understanding of anabaptism
and Christianity in general.
Yoder Nyce is right that there were important egalitarian tendencies in early Anabaptism
that can be lifted up today.
Bender organized a conference on Anabaptism
at which Franklin Littell presented a chapter of his Yale doctoral dissertation on the missionary dynamics of the sixteenth-century Anabaptists, adding a missional dimension to Bender's earlier threefold "essence of Anabaptism
Although I have retained the Orthodox insights from my original paper in the present adaptation, my primary purpose is to corroborate Rempel's interpretation of the Lord's Supper in Anabaptism
by demonstrating that, for Pilgram Marpeck (d.
Intriguingly, there are no references to the highly important reference works and source collections on the Anabaptist movements that made this scholarship possible (Mennonite Encyclopedia, Bibliography of Anabaptism
, Tauferakten, Bibliothecum Dissidentium, and so forth).
Williams presenting new work on the radicals and Anabaptists, giving the historical world what was seen as "authentic, nonnative Anabaptism
," to serious critiques of this narrative by Claus-Peter Clasen, James M.
Defenseless Christianity: Anabaptism
for a Nonviolent Church, Gerald J.
, although its paradigms are obviously, even radically anti-Romantic, contains its own heretical imperative in its call to a utopian purity that requires constant renewal and resistance to "the world.
Perhaps for these reasons we continue to see intriguing work published on Munster at a time when interest in the Radical Reformation seems to be waning, and when much of what is written on the subject comes from an increasingly sectarian perspective--in addition to the volume being reviewed here, Ralf Klotzer's excellent chapter in Brill's A Companion to Anabaptism
and Spiritualism, 1521-1700 (2007); a forthcoming work by James Stayer, Michael Driedger, and Willem de Bakker, provisionally entitled Bernhard Rothmann and the Reformation in Munster, 1530-1535; and, of course, parts of the wonderfully enigmatic novel Q, come immediately to mind.
The first section examines the rise of the principal Protestant churches in the 16th century: Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism and Anabaptism
The Batavia shipwreck and mutiny can be seen as a liminal event, one that breaks down the ordinary seafaring day, transforming what would otherwise be a footnote in history into an occurrence which allows scholars an opportunity to examine the intersections of themes not normally associated (for example: Anabaptism
, Rosicrucianism, and world trade).
1) Robert Friedmann, The Theology of Anabaptism
(Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1973), 66, 124.
Chapters in the book interpret Yoder's writings on Anabaptism
, ecumenism, peace theology and just war, Christian social responsibility in light of the cross of Jesus, and conclude with a brief chapter summarizing and commenting on Yoder's contributions to the church and academy.
He looks at the movement called the Counter Reformation, Calvinism and how it played out in the various countries that embraced it, persecutions (including the Inquisition, the burning of witches, and the martyrdom of dissidents from both the Catholic and Lutheran churches), the Enlightenment, the Church of England, Lutheranism in Scandinavia, Methodism, church design, sermon style, music, art, and architecture, the effect of the printing press, biblical translations, Anabaptism
, pietism, and more.
He follows that chapter with contemporary approaches to historic Anabaptism
and its theology.